Brenna Larson, M.A.
Doctoral Fellow, Samuel H. Kress Foundation
Brenna Larson is a doctoral candidate from the University of Michigan and will be in residence at the Kunsthistorisches Institut for two years (2019-2021) as a Samuel H. Kress Institutional Fellow. Her dissertation examines art making in and around the port city of Genoa between the mid-fifteenth century and 1528 with a focus on issues of itinerancy, ideas of "foreignness," and style. The project investigates how mobility operated in the Genoese artistic sphere through an examination of the often-collaborative artistic production of artists including Ludovico Brea (c.1450–c.1523), Giovanni Mazone (active 1463–1510) and Vincenzo Foppa (c.1427–c.1515); these "foreign" artists originated from outside of Genoese territory and moved within a nodal network of ports and interior towns which was shaped by Genoese mercantile and banking institutions, namely the Bank of St. George. The dissertation is structured around sites of production for these artists within that network: the complex of Santa Maria di Castello in Genoa; sites of della Rovere patronage in nearby Savona; and ecclesiastic monuments on the island of Corsica. The project is further framed by a historiographic study of the construction of a so-called Genoese School, beginning with Raffaele Soprani's 1674 Le vite di pittori, scoltori et architetti Genovesi.
Other research interests include central Italian niello production, fifteenth-century luxury bookbinding, and unusual painting supports. Her research has been supported by the Italy-U.S. Fulbright Commission and the International Institute at the University of Michigan, amongst others.